HOUSTON, March 15 (Xinhua) -- Three people died Friday in a helicopter crash in the U.S. state of Louisiana, officials said.
A pilot and two passengers aboard the helicopter died when the aircraft crashed in a remote area of Cameron Parish in southwestern Louisiana, The Houston Chronicle reported, citing sheriff Ron Johnson.
"The helicopter caught on fire," Johnson said.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said preliminary information indicates that the plane crashed during a maintenance test flight about 30 minutes after taking off.
The helicopter, owned by Louisiana-based Era Helicopters LLC, was reported to be a 12-passenger, twin-engine aircraft.
The sheriff's office received the call at 11:45 a.m. from an off-duty dispatcher who witnessed the crash, according to reports.
The FAA was on the scene Friday afternoon. An investigation was underway.